It’ll be years before the Central Subway brings trains and commuters into Chinatown, but in the meantime the ongoing dig and build is at least furnishing some prime exhibition space for a local artist.
The San Francisco Arts Commission announced today that muralist Jason Jägel’s new work titled Procession is on display right on the side of a subway construction barricade at Stockton and Washington, part of an ongoing drive at “beautifying the building site” while the long project plays out.
And Procession is indeed just that: A long and snaking march of oddball cartoon figures, including a rainbow-striped dragon, a marching head, and a rather well-dressed dog riding on the back of an uncharacteristically cooperative cat.
Closer observation and a bit of thinking reveals that each of these sketchbook subjects is partaking in some mode of transit. “I wanted to depict a suggestive panoply of city-dwellers that are playful, approachable, ambiguous and perhaps just a little bit weird,” Jägel said in the Arts Commission statement.
Born in 1971 and originally from Boston, Jägel is a Stanford grad who often makes use of the sketchbook doodle style on display at the subway site, although his portfolio also reveals a fondness for human-like figures abstracted in the inverse direction and shaded back into surreal silhouettes.
Procession will display at Washington and Stockton for a year, although with construction delays mounting up and trains not set to run until 2021 there might be an opportunity for it stick around.